Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
Education Opinion

Why K-12 Arts Education Is Worth Saving

By Matthew Lynch — April 06, 2016 1 min read

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that children who are exposed to the arts score higher on standardized tests, graduate at increased rates, are better problem-solvers, and are overall more engaged citizens. With arts creating such a positive effect, it’s unfortunate that many of today’s youth are unable to experience and create art at school.

The Miami Herald’s Sheila Womble recently delved into this issue and showed how arts education programs overall are not getting the support they need nationwide. Public schools art education programs tend to be undervalued and in turn underfunded. Nationally, K-5 students receive an average of 45 minutes of arts education per week. Fewer and fewer elementary schools are even offering music and visual arts classes, in comparison to that of a decade ago. Middle and high school students receive even less arts instruction. More than 51 percent of teachers report there is less instructional time and fewer resources allotted to the arts, based on a U.S. Department of Education study. Close to 800,000 secondary school students are not receiving musical or arts instruction at school whatsoever.

Though budget deficits and increased standardized testing have posed challenges in terms of providing appropriate arts education to our students, the value is clear and must be made a priority. To aid in filling the arts education gaps, community organizations have stepped in to provide enrichment programs to youth before and after school.

The arts can have a significant impact on young learners and these classes prepare them to be intelligent, productive citizens. Students need to be exposed to arts to help enhance their minds and experiences, even if the important lessons they are learning are not quantifiable on a test. It is imperative that an appeal is made to decision-makers to ensure arts education is part of a well-balanced public education.

It’s up to educators to push back and demand students have these vital components in their days, no matter what specialty of the teacher. Quality arts education improves the learning process across the board.

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Head of Lower School
San Diego, California
San Diego Jewish Academy
Head of Lower School
San Diego, California
San Diego Jewish Academy
Project Manager (Contractor)
United States
K12 Inc.
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read